Cranes in the field of Construction: Types, Uses, Working and Maintenance
What is a Crane?
A crane is a large, tall machine used to lift and move heavy objects. It typically consists of a long arm, called a boom, which is connected to a rotating base. The boom is operated by a system of cables and pulleys that allow it to move up and down, as well as side to side.
Cranes are often used in construction sites, ports, and other places where heavy loads need to be lifted and moved. There are different types of cranes, including tower cranes, mobile cranes, overhead cranes, and truck-mounted cranes, each with specific features and capabilities suited for different applications.
How are cranes used in the field of Construction?
Cranes are an essential piece of equipment in the field of construction, used to lift and move heavy materials and equipment on construction sites. They are used to move objects vertically or horizontally to various heights and distances, making them a versatile tool in the industry.
Here are some ways cranes are used in construction:
1. Moving materials: Cranes are commonly used to move heavy materials such as steel beams, concrete blocks, and lumber from one location to another. This is especially useful in high-rise construction projects, where materials need to be lifted to higher levels.
2. Setting up structures: Cranes are used to lift and position large pre-fabricated sections of buildings, such as walls, roofs, and floors, into place. This can save a significant amount of time and labour compared to traditional building methods.
3. Demolition: Cranes are also used in the demolition of buildings and structures. They can be used to lift and remove large sections of the structure, making the demolition process more efficient.
4. Maintenance: Cranes are used for maintenance work on buildings and structures, such as cleaning windows or repairing roofs. They can provide access to hard-to-reach areas and lift equipment and workers to the required height.
The crane is a vital tool for the construction industry, allowing heavy materials to be moved, as well as equipment to be moved and construction projects to be completed efficiently.
What are the different types of Cranes that are used in construction?
There are many different types of cranes that are used in construction, each designed to meet specific lifting requirements. The following are some of the most common crane types used in construction:
1. Tower crane: Tower cranes are tall, vertical cranes that are used for constructing tall buildings. They are typically fixed to the ground and have a long horizontal jib that can be raised and lowered as needed.
2. Mobile crane: Mobile cranes are versatile cranes that can be moved from one location to another on a trailer or truck. They are commonly used in construction sites to lift and move heavy materials.
3. Crawler crane: Crawler cranes are similar to mobile cranes, but they are mounted on tracks instead of wheels. This makes them more stable and able to traverse rough terrain.
4. Rough terrain crane: Rough terrain cranes are mobile cranes designed for use on rough, uneven terrain. They typically have four large rubber tires and a telescopic boom that can be extended to reach high places.
5. All-terrain cranes: All-terrain cranes are a hybrid between a mobile crane and a rough terrain crane. They have the mobility of a mobile crane and the ruggedness of a rough terrain crane, making them suitable for use in a variety of different environments.
6. Overhead crane: Overhead cranes are fixed to the ceiling of a building and are used to move heavy loads within the building, such as in a manufacturing or storage facility.
7. Gantry cranes: Gantry cranes are similar to overhead cranes, but they are supported by legs on the ground instead of being fixed to the ceiling. They are commonly used in shipyards, warehouses, and construction sites.
8. Floating Crane: These are cranes that are mounted on a barge or other floating platform. They are often used for marine construction projects, such as building bridges or drilling offshore oil rigs.
9. Jib Crane: These are smaller, fixed cranes that are often used in workshops or factories. They have a horizontal jib that can be rotated and a hoist that can lift and move loads.
10. Stacker cranes: These are automated cranes that are used in warehouses or distribution centres to move and store goods. They operate on a rail system and are controlled by a computer.
11. Loader Cranes: These are cranes that are mounted on a truck or trailer and are used for loading and unloading heavy equipment or materials.
12. Aerial Crane: These are helicopters that are equipped with a crane for lifting and moving heavy loads in areas that are difficult to access by ground.
13. Mini Crane: These are small, portable cranes that can be used in tight spaces or on rooftops. They are often used in urban construction projects.
14. Level Luffing Crane: These are cranes that have a special mechanism that allows the load to remain level as the jib is raised or lowered. They are often used in container ports or shipyards to load and unload cargo.
These are just a few examples of the many different types of cranes used in construction. The choice of crane will depend on the specific requirements of the project, such as the size and weight of the loads to be lifted, the location of the site, and the terrain.
How to maintain a Crane that is used in Construction?
Maintaining a crane used in construction is crucial to ensure it continues to operate safely and efficiently. Here are some steps you can take to maintain a crane:
1. Regular inspections: Inspect the crane daily before use to identify any issues. Also, have a qualified inspector inspect the crane periodically to ensure it is in good condition.
2. Lubrication: Lubricate all moving parts of the crane regularly to reduce friction and prevent wear and tear.
To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.
Video Source: Art of Engineering
3. Cleaning: Keep the crane clean to prevent corrosion and damage. Remove any dirt or debris from the crane, and wash it regularly.
4. Electrical system maintenance: Inspect and maintain the electrical system regularly, including the wiring, switches, and controls.
5. Hydraulic system maintenance: Inspect and maintain the hydraulic system, including the hoses, pumps, and cylinders, regularly to ensure it is working properly.
6. Replace worn parts: Replace any worn or damaged parts promptly to prevent further damage to the crane.
7. Proper storage: Store the crane properly when not in use to prevent damage from weather or other elements.
8. Operator training: Ensure that all crane operators are trained and certified to operate the specific type of crane. This will also help in increasing the workflow and might prevent potential accidents.
You can extend the crane's lifespan and ensure it operates safely and efficiently by following these maintenance steps.